Jet boat company responds after dozens of complaints from waterfront homeowners

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WIVB) — A popular jet boat company is speaking out after getting a wave of complaints from homeowners.

Niagara Jet Adventures in Lewiston has been under fire for their speed on the Niagara River.

Waterfront homeowners say their boats are causing wakes which is adding to erosion problems caused in part by record high water levels.

“Erosion’s natural, to think that the jet boat is causing this problem when we travel on the Canadian side, it’s just not fair,” said Damon Decastro, spokesperson for Niagara Jet Adventures.

People that live along the shoreline told News 4’s Rachele Mongiovi that they have called village, county and state officials to do something about the jet boat speeds.

“The coast guard can’t do anything because there is no speed limit on the Niagara River,” said Terry Brolinski, Department of Public Works Supervisor.

Signs are now posted near the water from Governor Andrew Cuomo, warning boaters to observe a 5 mile-per-hour speed limit within 600 feet of the shore.

Neighbors say the jet boats have been going slower, but still pose a problem on a regular basis.

“We still do get the wakes so I’m not really sure what they can do about that, but I feel like it is affecting the waterfront properties. A few minutes after they go by we have some waves crashing on the shore and that goes on all day,” said Janice Vitch, Lewiston resident.

Still, Jet Adventures stands firm saying they and are not responsible for shoreline damage.

“Our boats are on the Canadian side, they’re observing all rules, all speed limits, all wake zones, we’re not violating any rules, we are not causing the damage. We sympathize with them because we’re suffering the damage too, ” said Decastro.

The U.S. Coast Guard cannot ticket boaters, but if a boat is speeding call numbers will be taken and reported to authorities. The jet boats are watched by the Coast Guard, they travel with them in plain clothes and in uniform.

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